Like a bouquet of flowers, Violet (Greta Gerwig), Heather (Carrie Maclemore), Rose(Megalyn Echikunwoke ) and Lilly (Analeigh Tipton) bring bright pastel colours and scent to the cinematic world of American College Campus life.
The story of Damsels in Distress is simple, a group of girls, with Violet as their queen bee, recruit the newbie Lilly and induct her into the unique ways of their quasi sorority. Between running a suicide intervention centre, trying to improve the ways of the fraternity boys and swooning over the slightly dim and unattractive ones the sisterhood fight, fall in love and try and find themselves.
Although nothing much happens Whit Stillman enchants us with loveable whacky characters, beautifully choreographed shots and unbelievably cleaver dialogues. As we fall in love with the world he creates we start to believe, like Violet, that yes the scent of soap has reformative powers and our main aim in life should be to, like Chubby Checker and his Twist, create a dance craze.
Greta Gerwig as Violet is wonderful, somehow she manages to portray her as always bordering on annoying with her narcissistic tendencies and utter self-belief, but so vulnerable and endearing that you can’t help but like her. Interestingly enough Analeigh Tipton from Americas Next Top Model holds her own and her wide eyed naivety is believable even if she is a little stiff at times.
Overall Damsels in Distress is a very funny and whimsical film and well worth watching. It is a feast for the eyes and the witty rapport between characters will linger with you, as will the Sambola the dance craze Violet introduces to the world at the end of the film. So as you Promenade, Tango, and Chachacha out of the cinema this oddball film will have definitely made you smile.